Review of TT6-3 Colin Baron & David Stroud - Church planting and the gift of leadership: how to make a church plant thrive

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Training Track 6-3

This session was so useful (especially for me in my current situation) that I decided to make much more detailed notes. I think that most of his points are of value to any church leadership, not just those who are church planting.

1. The role of the leader

  • What the leader does is to lead the people forward into God’s plan
  • Not the same as a pastoral or teaching gift

2. The leader decides the location

  • Don’t go for an area that is too big or too small
  • John Wimber said that most church planters work too hard on too few people

3. Leadership starts to develop vision

  • Through how Scripture has spoken to you
  • Through prayer
    • Out of these will come a vision related to the community you are in
  • Believe God for something so great that it would fail were God not in it

4. Cast the vision God has given you

  • Vision is a powerful tool in the hands of a leader—it pulls you into the future.
  • You should be able to tell your vision to interested people
    • A 30 second introduction (for casual conversation)
    • 3 minutes over coffee (after church for someone who wants to know more)
    • 30 minutes (when you are doing a presentation to a church about what you are doing and why
  • If you have a strong, clear vision, people will make sacrificial decisions

5. Another role of leadership is developing a clear plan for the next 12-24 months ahead

  • You should plan out the phase between beginning the church plant and moving to having Sunday meetings
  • Plan out what you must do, and when
  • Plan your strategy for meeting unbelievers and those looking for a church
  • What three things must I do if this plan is to succeed
    • For me those three things were:
      • to cast vision
      • to meet people
      • to train leaders

6. Recruit a team

  • Think roles, not just simply numbers
  • You need a fellow leader
  • A good worship leader or a good musician (good musicians will attract other good musicians)
  • Small group leaders
  • Those with evangelistic gifts
  • Ask people to join you. Not everyone will, but the more you ask, the more are likely to come.

7. Leadership builds momentum

  • Planting a church is a lot of hard work
    • You need to have a lot of people through your home
    • But there is a problem: 20 people can suck up all your time.
      • My solution is to divide my time in half
        • Half goes to those people I already have
        • Half is for the people I don’t have (even setting aside evenings months ahead)
  • Lots of events to bring people to who are not a part of the church
    • e.g. parties, barbecues, events where people don’t have to talk about Jesus
    • The main preconceptions that people have are that God is unpredictable at best and Christians are weird
    • We have to show them that God is good and we are OK
  • Another way of building momentum is to celebrate victories
    • e.g. If your cell multiplies, have a party!
  • Have fun!
  • Care for significant leaders.
    • Even if there are only a few, you are setting a model for caring and that is how they will care for people.
    • It sets a culture of care

8. Avoid becoming sidetracked

  • Don’t do too many things at once
  • Ultimately you might want to be a Tesco Superstore, but right now you are just a bakery
  • To start with we just ran small groups and Sunday celebrations, but we have just added a deli which is Alpha
  • Avoid becoming bored—sometimes you have to do the mundane, administrative things
  • Persistence wins—don’t be too distracted
  • You have to say “no” to some things, for example requests from other church leaders
  • You have to say “no” to some people who want to church plant with you, but would divert your resources
  • You have to say “no” to some believers who have their own ideas about how the church should be

9. Leadership has to overcome problems

  • You have to relish problems and see them as an opportunity, and not be bowed down by them
    • E.g. when someone was shot at the location where they normally meet
  • Finances: you have to believe God for money
  • There is a connection between the amount you personally give and the amount you raise for your church
  • You have to believe God for a venue
  • You have to get people to move in order to join you

10. If you are a leader you must make sure that you and your family have support

  • You need good oversight
  • You need access to others involved in church planting
  • You need a strong marriage (or single people need good friends)
  • Your children need good friends and spiritual support
  • The leader makes sure that his own family is encouraged spiritually

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